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59K breaches of GDPR across Europe, report finds

Netherlands, Germany and the UK top rankings for the number of breach notifications; disparities found in levels of reporting across EU member states.

More than 59,000 data breach notifications have been reported across the European Economic Area by public and private organisations since the General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR – came into force back on 25th May 2018.

According GDPR Data Breach Survey from law firm DLA Piper, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands are the highest-offending countries, with approximately 15,400, 12,600, and 10,600 reported breaches, respectively. The lowest numbers of reported breaches were made in Liechtenstein, Iceland and Cyprus, with 15, 25 and 35 reported breaches respectively.

The Netherlands, with 89.8 reported breaches per 100,000 people, came top of the list when the number of notifications were weighted against country populations, followed by Ireland and Denmark. Of the 26 EEA countries where breach notification data is available, the UK, Germany and France ranked 10th, 11th and 21st respectively on a reported fine per capita basis. Greece, Italy and Romania reported the fewest number of breaches per capita, the DLA Piper study found.

To date, 91 penalty fines have been reported. Not all of these relate to personal data breach and several relate to other infringements of GDPR. The highest GDPR fine imposed is €50m, which was made against Google on 21 January 2019. This was a French decision in relation to the processing of personal data for advertising purposes without valid authorisation, rather than a personal data breach.

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